The Honda CBR brand has always been known for its sharp styling, refined engine and great performance. Over the years, Honda launched many bikes under the CBR brand. In India, it first started with the CBR250R, followed by the launch of its smaller sibling, the CBR150R. Both the bikes received multiple updates in the country, but now has been discontinued. But there are still two CBR motorcycles in the country that is keeping the brand alive – the CBR650R and the CBR 1000RR Fireblade.
The CBR650R replaced the CBR650F in India and that was a good development as India likes fully-faired and sporty motorcycles above anything. The CBR650R sports an aggressive design language which has been borrowed from the flagship Fireblade model. The single-piece headlamp unit has been replaced by a twin full LED headlamp unit. Besides that, the motorcycle also gets an all-digital LED instrument cluster featuring a gear position indicator and a Sift Up indicator. The new CBR650R is powered by the same inline-four that now produces slightly more power. The motor comes mated to a six-speed gearbox that is assisted by a slipper clutch.
The CBR 1000RR Fireblade is one the fastest 1000cc bikes in the country. Just like its rivals, this Honda too is equipped with top-spec electronics like Wheelie Control, Rear Lift Control, Engine Braking, Riding, Mode Select System, Power Selection and a new gyroscopic ABS system. The motorcycle also comes with a fully adjustable Showa suspension setup, optional quickshifter with downshift assist and an electronic steering damper. The flagship superbike comes with a colour TFT display for better rider to motorcycle communication. The bike also comes with ride-by-wire feature which allows better control of the throttle depending on the riding mode selected. The motorcycle features an all-LED setup for the headlamp and tail lamp, including the indicators. The motorcycle is powered by an inline 4-cylinder motor. The motor comes mated to a 6-speed constant mesh gearbox.
There was a time when we used to beg Indian two-wheeler manufacturers to bring in their middle-weight motorcycles to India. While some of them didn’t pay heed, few others got down to serious business. Honda and Kawasaki were the good ones.
If I were to take the price out of the picture, the Honda CBR 650F is a well thought out motorcycle, especially in the Indian context. It’s not cutting edge modern looking or eyeball grabbing in the same way the Kawasaki Z800 or the DSK Benelli 600i are, but the Honda has its own special charm. The paint scheme makes it look racier and...